Just Asking

‘Dogfighting allegations led Nike to shelve Michael Vick. Should it have waited for the legal process to play out?’

[Nike] stood by [Lance Armstrong] as proof [of blood doping] never materialized and there was never a conviction by a sporting body. They are . . . applying the same measures to Vick. Delaying release of a new shoe is more of a business move— who would buy it right now?—while also a PR move. . . . They have to let the legal system play out. —Jamie King, president, CEO, Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco

Nike . . . knows when edginess is appealing and they recognize when it becomes a detriment to their brand and a distraction to their consumers. By making the tough decision, Nike reminded all of us why they are the leader. —Jennifer Neal, managing partner, PHD East, New York

I think we have to ask the dogs that. —Mark Mothersbaugh, co-founder, Devo, Los Angeles

They’ve handled it well by delaying but not canceling the launch of the line. . . . They also don’t want to be viewed as abandoning endorsers if they’re not proven of having done anything wrong. That would damage the brand/street credibility they’ve worked hard to establish. —Richard Yaffa, CEO, entertainment, sports, partnerships, N.A., GroupM, New York

Nike did the right thing. In psychiatry, the three big childhood predictors of adult psychopathic behavior are bedwetting, fire setting and animal torture. If the allegations are true, Michael is one-third of the way to the trifecta. —Bob Minihan, ecd, ISM, Boston

I would tell him that he is on hold. If he is cleared completely of wrongdoing, he will be welcomed back with open arms. —David Grigg, cd, Happy Dog, Westport, Conn.

Michael Vick’s entire family is going to be running from him on this one. Nike is smart to be taking off a couple of steps ahead of them. —Marty Donohue, partner, cd, Full Contact Advertising, Boston

Nike should run, not walk, away from their Michael Vick deal and relationship. Although famously loyal to their athletes, there is no conceivable upside for Nike sticking by Vick. This situation is going to get even uglier soon, and it’s a perfect example of why every corporate-athlete deal is chock-full of morals and behavior clauses. Nike needs to swallow their pride and cut their losses. —Jon Hickey, svp, sports, entertainment marketing, Mullen, Wenham, Mass.